DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Specialty drug maker Baxter International Inc. will work with the World Health Organization to develop a vaccine that could stem an outbreak of a deadly swine flu strain in Mexico.
Baxter spokesman Christopher Bona said Saturday that the Deerfield, Ill.-based company has asked the WHO for a sample of the flu strain.
He says Baxter has patented technology that allows the company to develop vaccines in half the time it usually takes — about 13 weeks instead of 26.
There have been 20 confirmed deaths in Mexico of the swine flu, with nonfatal cases also confirmed in Kansas and California.
Humans don't have a natural immunity to swine flu strain that emerged in Mexico in March. Officials have warned the outbreak could become a global epidemic.